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Going Mobile

My webmaster and I are upgrading this blog to be more mobile-friendly.  The changes we are making will make the blog easier to load and see on mobile platforms.  

Naturally, having the blog load fast and easy on desktop and laptop computers is always desirable.  That capability remains.

Just for fun, I'm including one of my recent paintings, "Old School, New School".   It seems appropriate.  New school in this case is a mobile ready blog!


Old School, New School

 

By the way, "Old School, New School" earned an award at the recent Watercolor Society of Oregon's Spring Aqueous Exhibition.  For more about the award, please see my "News & Events" page.  

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The post Going Mobile appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

DIY – Make Coasters From Old CD’s

I enjoy entertaining in my new-to-me home. With the constant flow of friends and family, I realized that I needed additional coasters to protect my wood tables. I had some old coasters, but I wanted something artistic that went with my decor, so decided to make my own coasters.

These coasters are made from old CD's and recycled paper. They even work well for putting under a vase of flowers.

These coasters are made from old CD’s and recycled paper. They even work well for putting under a vase of flowers.

I had a bunch of old CD’s that I had kept hoping to find an art project I could use them on. Perfect coaster size! A little experimentation and now I have a new set of coasters.

This coaster made from an old CD and recycled paper is a perfect to protect my wood end tables.

This coaster made from an old CD and recycled paper is a perfect to protect my wood end table.

I love finding ways to upcycle things that were destined to go into the landfill into something that is useful and artistic too.

My dining table is oak and my favorite placemats are a little small to hold a dinner plate and my mug of tea. My coaster made from an old CD is the perfect solution.

My dining table is oak and my favorite placemats are a little small to hold a dinner plate and my mug of tea. My coaster made from an old CD is the perfect solution.

I made my coasters by covering the CD’s with a recycled handmade paper. The paper I bought years ago. It is made from corn cobs, newspaper and  homework.

I used recycled handmade paper to cover old CD's and transform them into coasters.

I used recycled handmade paper to cover old CD’s and transform them into coasters. Be sure to seal the coasters before using.

1. Cut two pieces of paper, one 6″ in diameter and one 4.5″ in diameter for each coaster.

2. Apply acrylic matte medium to the back side of the 6″ paper and place an old CD in the center.

3. Cut slits in the paper about every half inch around the CD, then wrap them around the back side of the CD one by one.

4. Paint acrylic matte medium on the back side of the 4.5” circle and place it over the back side of the CD.

5. You now have a coaster. Coat the coaster (first one side, then the other) with 2 to 4 coats of acrylic matte medium to seal and protect the coaster from moisture.

Hint: Putting the coaster on the top of a glass or jar (smaller than the coaster), then painting one side and letting it dry before painting the other side makes the job less messy.

Mugs, each with their own handmade coaster from an old CD is perfect for entertaining on Earth Day.

Mugs, each with their own handmade coaster from an old CD is perfect for entertaining on Earth Day.

Note: I like the look and feel of a matte finish on my coasters. A matte finish will also be less slippery. However, you could use a gloss finish if you prefer.

Enjoy, Candy

 

Studio Snapshot – Spring Heart Garland

I made a wonderful green heart garland for St. Patrick’s Day. I kept it draped over my dining room chandelier, for over a month now because I thought the green reminded me emerging green leaves of spring. Now, however, the flowers have started blooming and I decided I want bolder flower colors decorating my home. So, this week I made myself a new Spring Heart Garland.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers that are now blooming.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers that are now blooming.

This is the beginning of my Spring Heart Garland. I start at the bottom and work up.

This is the beginning of my Spring Heart Garland. I start at the bottom.

For my Spring Heart Garland, I fold 2 hearts in half sew them together.

For my Spring Heart Garland, I fold 2 hearts in half sew them together as you can see above.

My Spring Heart Garland, now about 9 feet in length, is finished

My Spring Heart Garland, now about 9 feet in length, is finished

I find the colors uplifting.

Instructions for making a Heart Garland are on my blog post: DIY St. Patrick’s Day Paper Garland.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Envelope & Letter In One

I was requested to share my instructions for making this envelope and letter in one. I posted photos of my envelopes for National Letter Writing Month on Facebook page, and was asked how I make this envelope and letter all in one. So here are the instructions.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope, each made from one of my paste papers, will go in the mail today.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope are made from my paste papers.

It’s easy. First take a piece of paper and fold it in almost thirds, like you were going to put it in a business envelope.

The dashed lines show where the folds go.

The dashed lines show where the folds go.

Here is how it is folded, step by step.

Fold the paper in thirds, then fold the bottom third up.

Fold the paper in thirds, unfold, then fold the bottom third up.

Fold the top corners of the page down to the fold line as shown above.

Fold the top corners of the page down to the fold line as shown above.

Now fold the top third down.

Now fold the top third down.

And secure it with a sticker or tape.

And secure it with a sticker or tape (after writing your letter on the other side).

Address the front of the envelope, put on a stamp and mail.

Address the front of the envelope, put on a stamp and mail.

Note: I took my envelopes to the post office and they suggested putting a sticker or tape on the sides (just a little bit) to make sure the envelope wouldn’t get caught when going through their automated machines.

Three envelopes made from my original paste papers designed so that the letter is on the inside of the envelope.

You might note that I spelled Carroll’s name incorrectly on the sample showing how to fold this envelope. I actually sent her the envelope above with her name spelled correctly.

Idea: Send a child’s drawing to grandparents. Have the drawing on the outside along with the address and have a little note about the drawing on the inside with the letter.

Enjoy, Candy

Journaling Retreat ~ Day 1 Afternoon

The aftermath of a frivolous, abundant lunch (where we get to make our own sandwiches and eat as much as we choose) found us pondering our afternoon assignment: Desire Mapping. With a wild collection of collage materials, giant atlases for us to dissect and paintbrushes as well, we each turned inside to depict the elements of what our perfect life and surroundings would look like.

First I had to determine what my priorities were. Like: mountains, rivers, wild, wide vistas, elements of the western United States, being an artist, continued learning and nature and women. Oh – and fearlessness!!! So I cut up a bunch of paper and danced it around my spread out journal pages. I never found an adequate image of an evergreened river’s edge so I watercolored it in first. I decided since I love warm colors, to have that red-orange as a uniting element and then, when I didn’t have those colors where I wanted them, I masked off with artist’s tape the area. Then painted it. Here’s my crazy, delicious Desire Map. I still feel very at “home” just looking at it. You might want to try it!!! T’will make you smile. Promise!!

Studio Snapshot – More Envelopes

While I had planned on making some other things this past week, I just couldn’t stop making envelopes. I even went to my local art store and bought over a dozen markers to play around with and see how they would work on my envelopes.

This envelope (with birthday card and envelope) was hand delivered to a family friend.

This envelope (with birthday card and envelope) was hand delivered to a family friend. The request came from his daughter and was a surprise.

These four envelopes and letters were made from a single sheet of paste paper. The envelope is folded in such a way that when it opens, the letter is on the back of the envelope.

These four envelopes and letters were made from a single sheet of paste paper. The envelope is folded in such a way that when it opens, the letter is on the back of the envelope.

This envelope went to Jennifer.

This envelope, with letter, went to Jennifer.

These two envelopes were inspired by some flower stamps I just purchased. They also highlighted my need for some better markers to make backgrounds. The backgrounds on these were made with a Pentel color brush.

These two envelopes were inspired by some flower stamps I just purchased. They also highlighted my need for some better markers to make backgrounds. The backgrounds on these were made with a Pentel color brush.

I gave this box (which I used to hold a letter, thus making it an envelope) to my neighbor for her birthday. Blog post and template: DIY Triangle Boxes.

I gave this box (which I used to hold a letter, thus making it an envelope) to my neighbor for her birthday. Blog post and template: DIY Triangle Boxes.

Three envelopes made from my original paste papers designed so that the letter is on the inside of the envelope.

Three envelopes made from my original paste papers designed so that the letter is on the inside of the envelope.

Playing with watercolors and gold.

Playing with watercolors and gold.

I bought this Sharpie water based marker and found it wrote wonderfully even over the silver on my paste papers.

I bought this Sharpie water based marker and found it wrote wonderfully even over the silver on my paste papers.

I made this envelope using my new Copic markers. I love how the background doesn't show my strokes like the other two envelopes with flowers.

I made this envelope using my new Copic markers. I love how the background doesn’t show my strokes like the other two envelopes with flowers.

I am having so much fun making envelopes and writing letters for National Letter Writing Month.

Enjoy, Candy

Envelopes Need Addresses

As you may already know, I’m sending out a letter a day for the month of April, which is National Letter Writing Month. I’ve shared two posts about it already. But, as I was recently reminded, the Post Office won’t deliver those envelopes unless they are addressed.

I sent Jan's envelope in the mail, and as you can see it was postmarked. However, it was returned to me because I forgot to put on Jan's address. OOPS!

I sent Jan’s envelope in the mail, and as you can see it was postmarked. However, it was returned to me because I forgot to put on Jan’s address. Apparently the Post Office insists on addresses on envelopes.

I sent Jan’s letter out without putting her address on it. Oops! And guess what. The Post Office was kind enough to cancel the stamp and send it back to me (the return address is on the back). I’m going to try again, but this time I’ll address it correctly.

Just a gentle reminder to those who are as absent minded as I am.

Happy National Letter Writing Month, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Making Envelopes

I’ve been having a great time in my studio this week playing with all sorts of ways to make and decorate envelopes.

For this envelope I wrote Jan's name in watercolors and embellished the letters with black and gold.

For this envelope I wrote Jan’s name in watercolors and embellished the letters with black and gold.

With April being National Letter Writing Month, I’ve given myself a challenge to write a letter a day and send it in a handmade or hand decorated envelope. I’ve had so many volunteers to receive my letters and envelopes that I’m going to have to double up and send 2 or 3 letters out some days this month.

This is the beginning of decorating an envelope. I have no preplanned idea other than the address will go in the center.

This is the beginning of decorating an envelope. I have no preplanned idea other than the address will go in the center.

And this is how the envelope looks almost finished. It still needs an address (in the white space in the center) and stamp

And this is how the envelope looks almost finished. It still needs an address (in the white space in the center) and a stamp.

Still, I’m loving the freedom of throwing my perfectionism out the window for this month. I’m trying all sorts of different ideas. I feel I’ve only just begun. Each day brings another idea to try.

Music paper for an envelope for a retired music teacher.

Music paper for an envelope for a retired music teacher. The card was made by Brooke Connor. You can see more of her work at www.bconnordesign.com.

The start of another envelope design. With envelopes being ephemeral, I don't stress about perfection.

The start of another envelope design. With envelopes being ephemeral, I don’t stress about perfection.

This envelope will be going to Christer who is a fan of the Sunday comics.

This envelope will be going to Christer who is a fan of the Sunday comics.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope, each made from one of my paste papers, will go in the mail today.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope, each made from one of my paste papers, will go in the mail today.

I am really enjoying playing around with envelopes. It’s going to be another fun month in my studio.

Happy National Letter Writing Month, Candy

Rabbit & Egg, Still Life Drawing

Which came first? :)

Just a fun play on the chicken & egg question.  

I've been working on my drawing stills.  I use still life set ups of my favorite odds and ends as subjects. I find it interesting and entertaining.  

Please enjoy! 


Rabbit & Egg, Still Life by Margaret Stermer-Cox

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Palette Knife Painting Techniques

Palette knife painting class illustration: Plein air palette knife painting of a vineyard by Silvia Trujillo, August 2011 Palette Knife Painting Techniques

taught by Silvia Trujillo

Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 14, 16, 21, and 23; 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
Skill Level: All Skill Levels, 16 and older
The direct approach of applying paint to the canvas with a palette knife was very popular with the Impressionists, and of particular interest to artists like Van Gogh and Monet. The palette knife can render luscious texture and depth, while maintaining rich pure colors. In this class, you will develop skills with the palette knife to enhance your work in value, design, and color harmony.
$170 members, $195 non-members, Click HERE for additional materials list for Silvia’s palette knife painting class.

MINIMUM ENROLLMENT REGISTRATION DEADLINE:

PLEASE REGISTER EARLY!   In order for us to hold a class or workshop, we must meet the predetermined minimum enrollment requirement one week prior to the first class or workshop meeting. If we do not meet the minimum enrollment, the class or workshop will be cancelled due to low enrollment.

Partial Scholarships are available! Please call (541) 772-8118 for more information.